RBA Lowe

The Australian Financial Review today reports on two near-death scares that RBA Governor Philip Lowe had in the four months between the time he was announced as the leader of the central bank and when he assumed the top role.

In what was nearly the most-brutal twist of fate, just 12 hours after treasurer Scott Morrison called to congratulate him for the top job, he was fighting for his life in an Ottawa hospital.

Lowe had spoken at a 2016 conference on financial stability and was sitting in the front row of the audience when he collapsed. Regaining consciousness, he was disoriented and not speaking clearly.

Doctors soon discovered his carotid artery -- which supplies blood to the head -- had split and his life was in danger from a blood clot. Doctors told his wife to prepare for the possibility of brain damage but after four days in intensive care and an emergency surgery, he was fine.

Then three weeks after arriving home he was again rushed to hospital after suffering from internal bleeding in his stomach in part due to the aspirin he was taking after the surgery.

He spent 10 days in hospital afterwards, receiving "countless" blood transfusions.

Contingency discussions were held in the government about selecting a different Governor but by the time September rolled around Lowe was fine and he continues in the top role today.

“I had two near-death experiences,” Dr Lowe says of the events in May and June 2016 in Ottawa and Sydney. “I had world-class healthcare at both St Vincent’s and Ottawa Hospital. If I lived elsewhere in the world, I probably wouldn’t have survived either of those things.